The fracturing of Rhapsody into two camps is an interesting approach to realising the ideas of two different songwriters. But for me, Rhapsody of Fire (and I have enjoyed their work) will always be secondary to Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody, because they have Luca Turilli and he IS Rhapsody. Every bombastic, ludicrously brilliant power metal record to come under that name owed a huge debt to his vast, cinematic vision. So, does ‘Prometheus, Symphonia Ignis Divinus’ follow suit with quality or not?
Well, it’s a strange beast really. Perhaps the most overtly symphonic and cinematic record he’s ever written, LT’s Rhapsody keeps power metal as a lynchpin but the real star is the vast orchestration. It’s lush, varied and enhances each song with bombastic complexity. How you feel about this personally is your own thoughts, but for me I miss the metal. Don’t get me wrong, the sweeping ‘Il Cigno Nero’ gallops with classic power metal riffs and a wild solo, but it is the orchestra you notice, more than the metal. ‘Rosenkrauz’ is more like classic Rhapsody, with operatic vocals complimenting the more traditional from Alexandro Conti. It would fit on most of Rhapsody’s classics, and shows that Turilli can still write them in his sleep.
The album’s appeal becomes more apparent with each listen. At first, you’ve got an overly dramatic and symphonically rich record that has some metal in it. But dig a little deeper into songs like ‘Anahata’ and the flowing classical inspired riffs start to show their quality. Underneath all the hysterics is a great power metal record, and it is whether the additions are too much for you will determine how you feel about ‘Prometheus, Symphonia Ignis Divinus’. It definitely showcases what Turilli as a songwriter is capable of, and the Lord of the Rings tribute ‘One Ring to Rule Them All’ deftly weaves soundtrack elements into an excellent piece. As the album progresses, the power metal backbone shows itself more frequently, and it is welcome!
‘Prometheus, Symphnia Ignis Divinus’ is an amibitious, sprawling work that defiantly sticks to its strengths. The sheer scale of the orchestration could be a little overbearing in parts, but when you can produces pieces of music as rich and expansive as ‘Of Michael the Archangel and Lucifer’s Fall II’, or the stunning ‘Prometheus’, then you can probably do just about anything you want.